My Valentine's Day 2016 Posting:
Classical Music Influence
It is safe to say that my classical music knowledge is hardly sufficient to write a blog but what little education about classical music I have are the vinyl records and CD's on renowned composers and the literature about them in the home cupboard.
A bright eyed and animated sister-in-law who is an expert in the field fills the gap in between to help but she is hardly in town since she lives on the West Coast of Canada, far away from the city about to be described below.
It was nearly the Spring of 1985 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, when I went to see the 1984 film version of Amadeus. This film was popular then with super star director Milos Forman and F. Murray Abraham as Anthony Salieri.
Having read the Peter Shaffer play in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1982 as a university text I was very excited with the notion of seeing the movie interpretation and only knowing later that the film won 8 Academy Awards, 4 Golden Globe Awards and other achievements.
I could not remember the name of the cinema but it was a small building and a little out of town. I managed to struggle into the downtown bus which took me there.
It is one of the coldest cities in Canada and getting a bus was not easy since most everyone drives. Outsiders make fun of the place and call it Winterpeg.
In Winter the temperature could go down below freezing, way, way, down to minus 40 degrees centigrade. And that my dear reader, was very cold. Breathing was a problem sometimes and nearly every door-knob touched gave a static electric shock. The spark could be seen between the knob and finger (image).
Since it was Spring I was glad I could move around but still in my woolen overcoat, muffler, mittens and snow boots. Coming from a temperate place like Singapore, living in Manitoba was like existing in a giant refrigerator.
And it was impossible to get used to, even after three years. But it wasn't too cold that night at a mere 11 degrees C. Some locals were walking around as if it were already summer time.
I expected a crowd but did not see many people. Thinking it was still early I bought the ticket and waited inside the building. There was not much air-conditioning to keep me warm but it was comfortable enough.
After waiting for fifteen minutes or so I decided to go in since the movie was about to start. After checking in with the door attendant, I sat in the last row of the small cinema and found I could lean my head on the back wall. Just above me were the peep-holes for the projectors.
Meantime I noticed that there were no other patrons in the cinema. Half an hour went by and the movie had not started, so I went out to find out what had happened. The attendant standing by surprised me with his statement:
"So sorry sir, I didn't know you are inside. I will screen the movie now!"
It took me a while to realise what had happened but alone I sat and saw Amadeus in comfort and quiet, munching popcorn in the dark. It was my first experience ever.
This particular theatre was not part of a cinema complex or cineplex but a smaller movie house that had no patrons. It was not because of the movie but because of the weather, its distant location in nowhere land and the social situation.
Not many readers will find this experience surprising as it is a common occurrence in the West. And with the advent of DVD's, home cinema and computer streaming these days I guess it is more prevalent.
Another reason is the notoriously ill repute of the city as Winnipeggers hardly go out at night because it is the **crime capital of Canada and the siren from police cars doesn't stop screaming; an incessant cry, 24 hours a day. Despite Winnipeg's reputation, it is still a beautiful place to live in, a winter wonderland from October to March.
I had a difficult time waiting for a bus in the late night after the movie. The bus-stop was just an open glass shelter and the snow came fast as it pounded on the panel. The heavy woollies I had on saved me.
A Happy Valentine 2016 To All Love Birds.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).
My knowledge of Mozart is near zero but I do remember the music I am familiar with as (b) below:
a) The Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183/173dB, was written by Mozart in October 1773. Its first movement is widely known as the opening music in Miloš Forman's film Amadeus.
b) Mozart wrote his Symphony No. 40 in G minor, KV. 550, in 1788. It is sometimes referred to as the "Great G minor symphony," to distinguish it from the "Little G minor symphony," No. 25. The two are the only minor key symphonies Mozart wrote (You Tube).
Click below to read Story 1: Army Daze or Amadeus?
Images: A personal collection; Google.